“We’re open on Thanksgiving Day,” the saleswoman told me, glumly. I was in a shoe store buying boots last Tuesday and we’d gotten to talking. I was totally surprised; as far as I knew, stores are typically closed on Thanksgiving. Not anymore, as it turns out.
Thanksgiving Day: The cover of the newspaper proclaimed “Black Friday Bargain Guide!” Twenty bazillion store flyers were tucked inside. Every other email in my in-box announced a deal; “Black Cyber Thanksgiving SALE!” one proclaimed. The TV aired Black Friday commercials up the wazoo and, tragically, I still can’t get that Kohl’s Black Friday song out of my head (as if the original version weren’t annoying enough). Meanwhile, the radio station I listen to declared “We’re starting the season early!” and played nonstop Christmas songs.
I drove by a Target around 11:30 a.m.; people were camped out, waiting for the midnight opening. (Nobody, however, was roasting a turkey on a portable grill.) “Mommy, what are those people doing?” my 6-year-old asked. “Waiting for the store to open,” I said. “When is it opening?” she asked. “In 12 hours,” I said. She looked perplexed. A bunch of other stores in our area were already open for business, offering early Black Friday sales.
All I could think was bah, humbug. That and, what kind of message are we sending our kids? Thanksgiving used to be all about spending the day with family, watching football, getting into political arguments, stuffing your face, all that good stuff. Yet it’s becoming better known by its new name, The Day Before Black Friday. People have long bemoaned the commercialization of Christmas; now Thanksgiving has fallen victim, too, and it’s all Black Friday’s fault.
To be sure: the economy remains sucky, stores make most of their money during the holiday season, people sure could use deals. I appreciate a $25 DVD player as much as the next bargain hunter. Still, there are 26 shopping days left till Hanukkah, 31 till Christmas, 32 till Kwanzaa—and just one Thanksgiving. Spending the day buying stuff or waiting around for a store to open don’t exactly seem like Thanksgiving activities the kids will remember for years to come.
At our house, we watched the parade on TV, hung out with family, poked fun at my husband for baking the turkey too long, ate ourselves into a food coma, drank wine, talked late into the night, downed midnight pumpkin pie. You know: Thanksgiving Day.
How quaint, right?
Sign by Patrick_63